As a Physician Assistant, I find myself reminding patients that healing take time. And I also find myself asking patients to give me time to figure things out.
A sprained ankle or wrist can take 6-8 weeks before it feels back to 100%. Sometimes longer. Sometimes shorter.
I remind patients that neck pain from whiplash during a car accident takes time as well.
I prescribe anti-inflammatory medications, muscle relaxants, and specific exercises/stretches for the patient to complete at home. Sometimes, I have to refer them to Physical Therapy depending on the amount of trauma.
And when I’m trying to find a new diagnosis, such as Helicobacter Pylori infection, Hyperthyroidism, Celiac Disease, or even Diabetes, I simply need time. I need to time to order labs, the patient has to come in fasting (sometimes) to have labs drawn, and then I have to wait for the results. Once the results come in, not only do I have to come up with a diagnosis but I have to come up with a treatment plan as well.
In medicine, we simply need time.
But time is elusive.
Patients report having a colonoscopy about 2 years ago when it was actually 5.
Patients report being out of prescriptions for 2 months when it’s only been 3 weeks.
Time is elusive.
I often think about God’s timeline for us.
I’m a very Point A to Point B type of person. I expect that when “A” is finished, “B” will follow. I follow algorithms in medicine to come up with diagnoses and treatment plans, because algorithms give me a path to follow and sometimes a timeline as well.
But what happens when we’re on path A and path B is nowhere to be found?
What happens when you were headed towards path A but landed on path C, and now you’re trying to work your way back to your starting point?
As a medical provider, I have learned over the years that a lot of things are out of my control. I wait patiently for thyroid biopsies to see if their nodule is actually cancer. I wait for a patient’s follow-up appointment with me so I can be updated about their successful, and sometimes not successful, chemotherapy sessions.
I wait. A lot.
As a Christian, I have learned to wait. I just wait a little differently. My wait time is accompanied with prayer.
When waiting for something important, we tend to become anxious, worried, or even depressed. We want our medical results now. We want to feel better now.
And I’ve learned that we want things now because we don’t know how to cope with the period in between.
So, what do you do when you’re on path A and path B is nowhere in sight?
What do you do when you’re on path A but end up on path C and are trying to work backwards to path A?
While you wait, pray. And when the wait gets longer, pray some more.
Yes, I know it’s easier said then done.
But if we, as Christians, believe that Jesus provides peace beyond understanding, then in times of uncertainty and waiting, wouldn’t we ask Jesus for peace and serenity?
But if we, as Christians, believe that Jesus spent 33 years on Earth before being crucified and resurrected, can’t we understand that sometimes God’s timeline may be longer (or even shorter) than we anticipated?
And if we, as Christians, believe that God was here at the beginning of creation, is here with us now, and will be here when our world comes to an end, then wouldn’t we trust that our prayerful waiting is all part of His plan?
Sometimes, when we’re forced to wait, we’re forced to remember these things. Because time is elusive and escapes our grasps easily. Sometimes we forget to stop and smell the roses. Sometimes we forget to slow down in life and absorb everything that’s around us.
Sometimes we forget about our God, who has perfect timing.
The next time you have to wait on a cancer biopsy, a diabetes diagnosis, a healing wound, or anything else, remember our God who is perfect in his power, love, and timing.
Together, let’s wait and pray: God heavenly father, sometimes we want to rush things. We can be impatient, anxious, and depressed, especially when it comes to our health. But God, today we are reminded that Jesus spent 33 years on Earth before being crucified and we know that you chose 33 years for a reason. We are also reminded that Lazarus was resurrected from death instead of healed before death. That was your timeline. Everything that happens, no matter how long or how short, is in accordance with your timeline. And today, we are reminded that your timeline is perfect. Please give us peace during this pandemic as we wait for the end and please give us peace when we’re waiting for answers. Amen.
As your neighborhood friendly PA, remember that medicine takes time.
As your neighborhood friendly online Christian blogger, remember that medicine takes time. Pray while you wait and know that God is in control.